The new album by Quantic - aka multi-instrumentalist, DJ, composer and producer Will Holland - is in many ways an evolution. Now 20 years into his career, ‘Dancing While Falling’ is the British-born New York-based artist’s most live-sounding, euphoric and, in his own words, grown-up release to date.

As an artist who sees each of his records as an ever-going process of trying to perfect the design, the uplifting and joyful 10-track album is his first release on a larger label. It’s also more concise and stripped down compared to his recent offerings on Tru Thoughts, including 2014’s Magnetica, a mixtape-style montage of all the different musical experiences he had while living in Colombia, and his most recent album, 2019’s Atlantic Oscillations, which comparatively chronicled the journey of how he weaved the sound of his new home of New York into his own sonic world. For the latter, he also slowly gravitated away from making sample-based beats on a laptop and instead ventured into a more symphonic set-up in terms of instrumentation.

Similarly with Dancing While Falling, Quantic wanted to use old school techniques to make something modern, with the aim of creating a record that showed the players on it – an album where their identities and charisma can be heard. Predominantly recorded at his own Brooklyn studio, Selva, Quantic’s initial idea for his new album was to experiment sonically. However, after a while, he changed direction and realised that the record needed to also relate to the human condition - not just his “singular pandemic wormhole”. The demos, then, started off as symphonic, loosely disco-era dance music – a departure from his previous Latin and Spanish instrumental releases.

As an artist whose reputation has been forged on how he engages with local scenes and cultures around the world, the story behind Quantic’s Dancing While Falling is typically collaborative. Recording drums, bass and guitar at Selva, he started off with sketches and arranged the strings and horns. He then invited different musicians into the studio so they could play the scores, which added different textures to the songs.